Islam provides a comprehensive list of the rights of both spouses in a marriage. Islam has clearly laid out the rights of a husband and wife. There is no injustice in our religion and Allah has granted both men and women appropriate rights according to His infinite Wisdom. Both genders enjoy a specific set of rights that are in complete harmony with their respective roles in marriage.
Spouses should always be mindful of each other’s rights and strive to fulfill them to the best of their ability. One must never neglect the other’s rights or disregard his or her duties in the relationship. Islam ensures that both men and women are aware of their roles in marriage. Thus, one simply needs to possess the correct knowledge in this regard and act upon it. Today, we shall focus on the husband’s rights in Islam.
In the Quran in Surah ar-Rum, Allah says that spouses are amongst His signs, and they are a means of attaining peace. Allah also says that He placed affection and mercy between them.
In Surah al-Baqarah, Allah points out how women have rights and are due a few things. However, men have a degree over them in terms of their duty and power.
A husband’s rights and a wife’s duties in marriage
In Surah an-Nisa, Allah says that men have charge over women courtesy of their expenditure for maintaining them. Allah has stated that it is compulsory for a man to look after his family.
Both genders have different roles in marriage because of the different attributes they possess. Women are mainly tasked with obeying and supporting the husband and looking after children. They play a major role in taking care of the household.
Allah has granted men authority over their wives and placed in charge of providing for and looking after them. Their role is that of the provider and protector of the family. Consequently, Allah gave them greater and more comprehensive rights in marriage.
Obedience to the husband and fulfillment of his needs
The wife must obey the husband at all times. The only exception is if her husband commands her to disobey Allah and do something that violates Islamic teachings. In such cases, obeying the husband is impermissible. Obedience to the husband is obligatory, but obeying Allah and His Messenger (PBUH) takes precedence above anything else.
Muhammad (PBUH) said in a Hadith recorded in ibn Majah, that if he was to tell anyone to prostrate to someone else, he would ask wives to do so to their spouses. This is because women cannot complete their obligations toward Allah without doing the same with regard to their husbands.
It is also compulsory to fulfill the husband’s sexual desires and comply with him in this regard. This is a key aspect of marriage as it encourages bonding and helps prevent unlawful temptations. Hence, the wife can not to reject her husband in bed without any valid reason, such as menstruation or mandatory fasting. There is a Prophetic Hadith that contains a strict warning indicating the urgent necessity of adhering to this principle.
In a Hadith recorded in Sahih Muslim, the Prophet (PBUH) stated that angels curse the woman who doesn’t go to a man’s bed when he invites her.
Furthermore, she’s not even allowed to keep a voluntary fast without her husband’s permission when he is present. Muhammad (PBUH) said in a Hadith in Jami at-Tirmidhi that a woman cannot fast for a day (besides Ramadan) without her husband’s permission if he is present.
Not allowing anyone to enter the house without the husband’s permission
The wife should not permit anyone, especially someone disliked by her husband, to enter the house without obtaining her husband’s permission. This is one of the noble etiquettes of being a righteous, dutiful wife.
The Prophet (PBUH) said in a Hadith recorded by both Bukhari and Muslim that women shouldn’t allow someone to enter their home without permission from their spouses. A similar saying from the Prophet exists in Jami at-Tirmidhi.
The wife must guard her chastity in her husband’s absence
The wife has to protect her chastity when her husband is not present. She ought to remain modest and avoid any inappropriate interactions. In addition, she has to protect his children and property in his absence. She must never deceive her husband and is compelled to uphold his rights in all circumstances.
The wife must serve her husband
She has to look after his needs and perform household duties. Examples of such tasks are: cooking, cleaning, taking care of their children and raising them in an Islamic way, teaching them good manners, etc.
Concealment of his secrets
She is not permitted to divulge any private matters of her husband to others. This can damage his reputation and harm the trust between the spouses. Additionally, secret matters concerning their relationship, such as sexual issues should not be revealed to anyone else.
It is critical to maintain secrecy and ensure she does not let her husband down by exposing private matters. The exposing of sexual matters, in particular, has been fervently condemned by our Prophet (PBUH). In a Hadith recorded by Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal, he likened it to a male and female devil having intercourse in public.
She should maintain a pleasing appearance for her husband rights
It is important for the wife to look after her appearance for the sake of her husband. She should always take care to present herself in a good manner, making an effort to beautify herself and smell pleasant. It’s a vital element of marriage as it shows consideration for her spouse, making an effort to please him. Thus, while the husband works hard to provide comfort and safety for his wife, she should strive to be a good companion who brings him happiness.
In a Hadith recorded in Sunan an-Nasa’i, the Prophet (PBUH) said that the best women were those who made their husbands happy when they looked at them, and they obeyed them and didn’t go against their wishes.
The wife should be grateful and not spend from their wealth without asking him
A wife should always appreciate the efforts and sacrifices her husband makes for her sake. She ought to treat him well, remain obedient, and always speak to him in an honorable manner. Failing to live up to these requirements could lead to ungratefulness on her part, which can lead to Hell. Moreover, she should not spend from their wealth without his approval.
The Prophet (PBUH) said in an agreed-upon Hadith that he was shown the hell-fire and discovered that most of the people dwelling therein were women because they didn’t show gratitude. He said that they didn’t show any thankfulness towards their spouses and instead denied the good things that they did. Even if a person treated them well, they would instead nitpick and find something to complain about, and then say that the person has never done anything good.
In a Hadith recorded in Sunan Abi Dawud, Muhammad (PBUH) said that women cannot give gifts without seeking the permission of their husbands.
The wife should not seek a divorce without a suitable reason
Allah the Most Merciful has made Islam an easy religion to follow. The rights and responsibilities of both spouses are laid out in detail, guiding us in our relationships.
Nevertheless, even after following Islamic teachings to the best of one’s ability, one can never guarantee a successful marriage. Islam, as a religion of wisdom, recognizes these realities of life; hence, divorce is deemed permissible. However, it is impermissible for the wife to ask her husband rights for a divorce without a legitimate reason.
The Prophet (PBUH) said in a Hadith that if a woman asks for divorce without having a good reason for doing so, she will be forbidden from attaining the fragrance of Heaven.